The “ONE OK ROCK 35XXXV Manila Concert” United Filipino Jrock Fans

I’ve been listening to this band for a while, and when their songs were featured in the Rurouni Kenshin live-action trilogy, I knew they were gonna be big. Aaaaaaaannddd I was right, fast forward a few years, now they’re touring around the world.

Last year, they announced they were having an Asian tour on early 2016 and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! It’s about time a Japanese band comes to perform in the Philippines! I was pleasantly shocked when I found out Philippines was included. ‘Cause at first, I believed only a few people would be listening to jrock/jpop (Japanese rock/Japanese pop) music (and they are most probably animé fans too). Yes, the Rurouni Kenshin movies were a hit in my country, but chances are no one would be curious enough to check out the band, or so I thought.

So last Jan. 19, ONE OK ROCK made history and had their first-ever concert in the Pearl of The Orient. Taka, Toru, Ryota and Tomoya performed their hits and the Filipinos, to my surprise, sang along to all of their songs, and those include the lyrics in Japanese! I noticed that they altered some of the Japanese lyrics to English but it turned out that the fans knew the Japanese version better. Most Filipinos don’t even speak Japanese, unless you count “arigatou” or “konnichiwa” as “speaking Japanese”. LOL. But apparently, the Filipinos were well-versed in their songs.

My friends and I were situated at the back of the VIP standing section so for the most part we could barely see them, but who cares. HAHAHA. We were having tons of fun headbanging and jumping to the energetic music. The euphoria is definitely on a whole other level when you’re listening to it live as compared to just when you’re playing music from your ipod. And can I just say, Taka’s voice, as well as the energy of the whole band, didn’t waver one bit throughout the whole concert!! They most certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd and gave an awesome show! Fortunately, I somehow managed to get some “decent” shots!

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LM.C’s Perfect Rainbow Tour became my rite of passage to jrock concerts

I know I have not done a decent job updating this blog in the last weeks.. but now thankfully I get to share another good experience! 🙂

In my trip to Japan last March, I made it a point to witness a local concert and see how the Japanese appreciate music.

Luckily, with some help from my super kind Japanese friend, we were able to acquire tickets to LM.C’s Perfect Rainbow Tour.

LM.C, composed of Maya and Aiji, is Japanese Visual Kei band whose songs were featured in animes such as Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Red Garden, and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan.

The Heaven’s Rock Café where the concert took place was a quick walk from the Saitama Super Arena. It’s a small live house for mini concerts/gigs. LM.C items were being sold outside the venue.

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When we got inside, we proceeded to the locker room where we deposited our stuff. I was told that when you’re in the live house, it is just an empty space and a stage, so carrying your stuff in there won’t be wise, especially when the room’s gonna be jam packed with people. Basically, it’s a whole hour (or even more) of standing and cramped space! But I guess that’s just how live houses are, which kind of makes sense because if you’re gonna be in a concert (especially at a rock concert), it’ll be such a killjoy if you just sit through it.

By the time we were inside, the place is already full of people. But even so, I could clearly see the stage from my position even though I was standing at the back of the room. That’s how “small” the live house was. Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed so I just settled with this picture of the event board outside Heaven’s Rock (and some concert merchandise :p) as a memento for this event. 🙂

LM.C Perfect Rainbow Tour
LM.C Perfect Rainbow Tour

The concert definitely did not disappoint. For the price I paid to be there (which was around 5500yen), it was all worth it. LM.C performed for almost 3 hours and thankfully because of my Japanese knowledge, I didn’t quite feel left out especially when they were taking a break and interacting with the fans. Another thing that struck me aside from the interesting music that LM.C does was the energy of the crowd during the whole concert.

Many of us know that the Japanese are generally quiet, shy and introverted kind of people, so I thought maybe they’ll just bob their heads during the performances. I realised how wrong I was as soon as the first song played. Maya and Aiji started with a very jumpy song, and the crowd went nuts! I mean I’m used to wild crowds as I have been to many rock events before but this was nuts, as in WEIRD. Why, you may ask. Well it’s because their movements were SOOO CHOREOGRAPHED and I’m like “did I miss the fan rehearsal, or something?”. LOL! They would all wave their arms in the same direction, at the same time, and even bang their heads together!! Just imagine me and my friend, in a pool of people with everyone around us crazily head banging and they would start (and stop) all at the same time. Moreover, when LM.C played their famous song, “88” (opening song of Katekyo Hitman Reborn), they immediately took out their glow sticks and waved it all together!!! It’s as if they all have mental telepathy, like, “Guys, it’s time to bring out the glow sticks, it’s for this song!!”

And then it hit me. These fans must have been to almost every concert of this band. What dedication and such a strong fandom. For them to come out every time just to see these guys play is really something. Here in the Philippines, when there’s a concert, almost everyone just screams and sings while the artist performs (trust me, go watch live footages of Manila concerts, you’ll see what I mean 😉 ), with the occasional waving of smartphones as an alternative to glow sticks ( but most just whip them out to record videos, which is quite sad I think). Japanese fans may not be as loud as the Filipinos, but they certainly don’t come last when it comes to fandom commitment!

So here’s us taking a selfie after the concert:

We're still alive after the chaos :P
We’re still alive after the chaos 😛

My Ed Sheeran Multiply Concert Experience — Totally Worth It!

It was a night to remember for all Filipino fans as Ed Sheeran held his much-awaited Multiply Concert in the Mall of Asia Arena last night. I was lucky enough to avail a ticket without hassle. When I got there, it was around 7:30pm, and supposedly, the concert should start at 8:00 but like most concerts here in Manila, whether foreign or local, oftentimes, they start at a later time. So I was there at the entrance outside the building and inside the MoA arena, I could see that there were still lots of people lining up to enter the concert hall itself and some even buying food. Once I got inside the concert hall, the place was already pretty crowded, as expected. I was at row T in the VIP1 section, almost right in the middle, near VIP2. And I’m like, image There were ocassional screams from the audience, but everything went batsh*t crazy when the lights dimmed. The seating arrangement in the VIP section went straight out the window as people ran to the front like bees swarming over honey, with some (including myself.. hahaha) stepping over the chairs just to get a better view (I know it’s shameful, but what can I do?). At first, the security tried to get the situation under control, but when Ed came out, they knew there was no stopping the crowd. So we all ended up standing on the chairs and from row T, I think I went as near as row J or K (just an approximation 😉 ). Ed started out with his song I’m A Mess and went on to play his other songs like Photograph, Tenerife Sea, Bloodstream, Runaway, I See Fire, Don’t, Sing, among other songs from his second album. He also did a short cover of Michael Bublé’s Feelin’ Good and mashed up Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. He also included a handful of songs from his previous album such as The A Team, Lego House and You Need Me, I don’t Need You during his encore performance. He also sang All of the Stars, the OST he provided for the The Fault in our Stars, which according to him was not really part of his lineup of songs.. 20150312_220045

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It’s Music Day at Hongdae!

When South Korea music comes into mind, most people could almost only think of one word; K-POP (Korean Pop). So during my last trip to Seoul, as an aspiring music traveler, I wanted to get a taste of the other kind of music that South Korea has to offer. And I’m not talking about other K-pop groups, but about 100% LEGIT show bands (not that I have anything against the mainstream Korean pop bands). And to me, there’s no better place to find music in Seoul than in Hongdae.

Hongdae is an area around Seoul’s Hongik University. It is a cultural melting pot where you can find various shop finds, art exhibitions as well as a bustling nightlife. So if you’re the party goer type, then Hongdae is for you. What’s even more interesting is that they have these “Club Day” and “Music Day” events going on periodically throughout the year.

Among the places that you can visit in Hongdae is the Hello Kitty Cafe, Coffee Prince Cafe, and the Trickeye and Ice Museum. But the most memorable highlight of this place are the street performances that you can enjoy as you frolick around.

One notable performance that I’ve seen during my visit to Korea last month is from a band by the name of Soundbox (Learn more about them here!). They held a street performance in the Hongik Children’s Park. Among the songs they played was their own spin of Hanson’s hit “Mmmbop”.

There were also street dancers all over the area doing performances as well as other bands playing different genres of music. So if you’re in Seoul and you’re craving some indie music and art, then Hongdae is the place to be.

Updated: 12/27/2014

Sonic Carnival 2014 Experience of a Newbie Raver

Last week, December 12, I had a taste first-hand of what people call Rave Party Concerts. As someone who’s not that familiar about house music and only know some mainstream DJs like, Avicii, Zedd and Afrojack, I was basically clueless about the guest DJs and their music when I attended the Sonic Carnival. I was a blank slate. But good thing I have friends who are more in-the-know. 😉

The concert was pretty much an eye-opener. All I knew before were rock, pop and even gospel concerts. It was definitely awesome dancing the night away to great song remixes and I noticed that there were almost no pauses in between acts. The event started out with local DJs, followed by the international DJs later in the evening.

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